Walkway to the Mount
From your Western Wall camera (http://www.aish.com/w/) I notice what appears to be a large covered walkway leading up the Temple Mount. Can you explain what that is?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
To the right of the prayer area is a path going uphill, leading to a doorway that opens onto the Temple Mount itself. This is called the Mughrabim Gate, a main entrance for tourists to visit the Temple Mount.
The original pathway was damaged in an earthquake in 2004, and a temporary wooden walkway has been installed just to the left of the hill.
Archeological excavations are currently being conducted to remove the mound of dirt. This has uncovered an 8-meter-high gate leading into the Temple Mount which dates from the period of the Second Temple. It is known as Barclay's Gate, after the 19th-century American consul who first identified it.
The entire area that is currently the Western Wall plaza was filled with low buildings when Israel liberated the area during the Six Day War of June 1967, and was later cleared away – except for the mound which is now being excavated.
The plan is to install a permanent steel bridge to access the Temple Mount.
By the way, since it is not known exactly where on the Holy Temple stood, Jews are prohibited by Torah law to set foot onto the Temple Mount, until such time that the Temple is rebuilt.